GENEVA, December 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Worldwide filings for patents, trademarks and industrial designs reached record heights in 2016 amid soaring demand in China, the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization reports.
Innovators around the world filed 3.1 million patent applications in 2016, up 8.3% in a seventh straight yearly increase, according to WIPO's annual World Intellectual Property Indicators report.
Trademark applications jumped by 16.4% to about 7 million, and worldwide industrial design applications grew by 10.4% to almost 1 million - both also driven by growth in China.
"The latest figures charting a rise in demand for intellectual property rights confirm a decade-long trend, where developments in China increasingly leave their mark on the worldwide totals," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. "China is increasingly amongst the leaders in global innovation and branding."
China's State Intellectual Property Office received the highest number of patent applications in 2016, a record total of 1.3 million. It was followed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (605,571), the Japan Patent Office (318,381), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (208,830) and the European Patent Office (159,358). On a per-capita basis, patent filings in China ranked behind those in Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the U.S.
An estimated 7 million trademark applications were filed worldwide in 2016, 16.4% more applications than in 2015, marking the seventh consecutive year of growth.
The office of China had the highest volume of filing activity with a class count of around 3.7 million, followed by the U.S. (545,587), Japan (451,320), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (369,970) and India (313,623). Among the top five offices, China (+30.8%), Japan (+30.8%) and India (+8.3%) reported solid annual growth. Other offices among the top 20 with strong growth were the Russian Federation (+14.8%), the U.K. (+19.1%) and Viet Nam (+21.1%).
Global industrial design filing activity in 2016 grew by 10.4% to an estimated 963,100 applications.
The office of China received applications containing 650,344 designs in 2016, corresponding to 52% of the world total. It was followed by the European Union IP Office (104,522), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (69,120), Germany (56,188) and Turkey (46,305). Among the top 20 offices, the fastest growth in design counts occurred in the Islamic Republic of Iran (+34.8%), followed by Ukraine (+17.4%), China (+14.3%) and the U.S. (+12.1%).
SOURCE World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)